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H.R. 622 (105th): Declaration of Official Language Act of 1997

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 5, 1997.

Declaration of Official Language Act of 1997 - Declares English to be the official language of the U.S. Government. States that English is the preferred language of communication among U.S. citizens. Requires the U.S. Government to promote and support the use of English for communications among U.S. citizens. Requires communications by officers and employees of the U.S. Government with U.S. citizens to be in English. Directs the Immigration and Naturalization Service to: (1) enforce the established English language proficiency standard for all applicants for U.S. citizenship; and (2) conduct all naturalization ceremonies entirely in English. Allows anyone injured by a violation of such provisions to obtain appropriate relief in a civil action. Authorizes the court in any such action to allow a prevailing party, other than the U.S. Government, a reasonable attorney's fee as part of costs. Repeals the Bilingual Education Act (title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965). Amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to repeal bilingual voting requirements.